Granny Flat or Studio – What is the Difference?

August 10, 2023

Exploring the Distinctions Between a Granny Flat and a Studio: Which Suits You Best? Navigating the realm of housing terminologies can be quite confusing, especially when it comes to distinguishing between seemingly similar concepts like 'Is it a Granny Flat or a studio?'. However, failing to grasp the differences could potentially lead to unforeseen challenges down the road, especially with regard to marketing your property for sale - and the value that a Granny Flat or studio will set. In the realm of council planning, comprehending these distinctions is crucial, as each term carries unique implications that can significantly impact your living arrangements, lifestyle and the value of your home. Let's delve into the definitions and contrasts between these two housing options to unravel their intricacies.

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Decoding 'Studio' in Council Planning Terms?

Within the realm of council planning, a 'studio' is not explicitly outlined in the legislation, but it generally refers to an accessory structure, or an 'extra room', that serves a specific purpose. Studios are typically adjunct to an existing dwelling, utilised for specific functions like art studios, home offices, or even occasional guest bedrooms. However, what sets them apart is that while they can accommodate some living amenities, they can't legally be classified as separate dwellings. This also means you legally cannot rent these out as a separate dwelling.

What is a Granny Flat?

Granny Flats, is officially known as a secondary dwelling, is formally recognised and allowed for in planning legislation and, when built to specific standards, is recognised as a fully independent habitation units, distinct from the primary residence.

These secondary dwellings can stand on their own, offering self-contained living spaces with all necessary amenities for separate occupation. While there is often a cap on their size, 60 square meters in NSW and 90m2 in ACT, exceptions may exist in specific regions, allowing for larger configurations.

A Granny Flat, that is an officially recognised secondary dwelling is legally able to be rented out and earn income.

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How to delineate between a Granny Flat or a Studio?

In essence, the line between a Granny Flat and a studio lies in the level of autonomy and intended use. A Granny Flat, or secondary dwelling, represents a self-sufficient abode that must specifically encompass a separate kitchen, making it suitable for year-round occupancy.

On the other hand, a studio remains tethered to its parent dwelling and serves as a space for specialised activities like artistry or crafting. While it can include certain living provisions such as a bathroom and even a sleeping area, it lacks the facilities to prepare meals, wash clothes, thus precluding it from being considered a separate, permanent dwelling. This crucial distinction is also upheld in the National Construction Code.

How to select a path forward - a Granny Flat or studio?

With Channel 9's The Block confirming the desirablility of studio and Granny Flat spaces whichever you choose will add value to your home. If you just require a separate living and sleeping area with a private bathroom and no kitchen faclities, and you do not require a full kitchen and laundry - a studio-style extension coud be just what your home needs. This sort of ground floor extension or 'pod' starts at $150,000. Contact Cubitt's to find out exactly what is possible at your place, the sooner you start the process of working out what is possible - the sooner you will get approved and get ready to create this special new space for your family.

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Speak to Cubitt's about your Studio or Granny Flat Investment

An Australian, family-run business for over 25 years, Cubitt’s is passionate about providing our customers with a transparent and stress-free approach to building their dream project. That’s why we proudly offer award-winning customer service and a dedicated project manager to every customer, to keep them informed every step of the way. We have handpicked the best and most reliable tradesmen in the industry to provide quality workmanship, while our experienced council planning and drafting teams understand the intricacies of working with local councils throughout NSW and the ACT.

Our friendly team understand that building a home is a unique and personal experience. We’re ready to listen to your needs, and provide customised Granny Flats to suit your lifestyle requirements such as wheelchair ramps and wider doorframes.

Are your ageing parents reluctant to downsize? Get them excited to move with our  extensive range of 2 bedroom Granny Flats in NSW and ACT

Have a limited budget?  View our fantastic range of 1 Bedroom Granny Flats in NSW and ACT

Limited space? How about considering an Attached Granny Flat

For more information, call our award-winning customer service team on 1300 721 150.

Free On-Site Assessment at Your Property

Interested in finding out how to make a positive investment from a Cubitt's Granny Flat or Home Extension? Get in touch for a no-obligation site inspection today.

If you are looking to purchase a new property and want to do a Granny Flat Suitability Check - please use this form instead.

We require your name, email and phone number to get back to you - and the more you can tell us about your build project, the more effectively our local teams can help.

Free On-Site Assessment at Your Property

Interested in finding out how to make a positive investment from a Cubitt's Granny Flat or Home Extension? Get in touch for a no-obligation site inspection today.

If you are looking to purchase a new property and want to do a Granny Flat Suitability Check - please use this form instead.

We require your name, email and phone number to get back to you - and the more you can tell us about your build project, the more effectively our local teams can help.

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About Vince Zinghini

Vince is Cubitt's Director of Planning. With two decades experience in NSW and ACT Council planning and a team of people covering the specific areas in which Cubitt's build, its rare to find a planning scenario we haven't been able to tackle.